HOMEBREW Digest #3720 Tue 28 August 2001

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  Hops In The Bottle? ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Anybody Brewing in Santa Barbara Area ("Jay Wirsig")
  Re: enzyme killer (The Freemans)
  Brewing article on CNNFN.COM (Jeff Hertz)
  possible answer to coldroom question ("Scott Basil")
  Cutting stainless ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  RE: Oat Hauls (LJ Vitt)
  beers that make you sick ("Alan McKay")
  RE: zinc and esters (Brian Lundeen)
  1st time all-grain questions ("Hedglin, Nils A")
  RIMS thermocouple location (Troy Hager)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 20:04:03 +1000 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Hops In The Bottle? Len Safhay writes, regarding wort kits : >Cool, Phil. Is it pre-hopped? I've gotten really tired of putting >the >damn things in a blender and trying to squeeze them into the >bottles. >For some reason it makes some of the beer spill out and >when you drink >it, this green stuff gets in your mouth. Len Sounds like you have been conducting some pretty interesting brewing experiments. Actually squeezing hops into your bottles must make some unusual beer. But you will be pleased to know Len that the wort kits are pre- hopped and that such strange endeavours are unnecessary. What I do suggest is that a hop tea is made up with the extra three to five litres of water that you add to the wort kit. I don't know how this compares with your idea of squeezing them into the bottles, but it would certainly be easier. Might also get around the problem of displaying green teeth when you have had more than a few too many homebrews. You haven't tried just eating the hops then drinking malt extract have you Len? Give me your address and I will get you on your way with a wort kit. You'll probably never need your blender again. Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 09:04:27 -0400 From: "Jay Wirsig" <Jay.Wirsig at can.dupont.com> Subject: Anybody Brewing in Santa Barbara Area Is anyone aware of a club or any brewers in the Santa Barbara California area? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 09:44:56 -0500 From: The Freemans <potsus at Bellsouth.net> Subject: Re: enzyme killer I have found that the following works well as a temperature and mash regime on "the perfesser". I have a separate heat exchanger on this heat exchange system and that allows a finer control of temperature ramps IMHO. Strike temp is set on the CN8590 Omega PID I use the night before the brew day. The next morning I have 14 gallons of strike water waiting when I go out to the brewery. (there is an automatic control similar to a Mr Coffee machine (NAYY) to start the process before I even wake up on brew day.) I mash in with this preheated water at a rate of about .7-.8 quarts per pound and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. During that time I refill the HLT and ramp the water temp in the HLT to 165 degrees. Temp changes, such as to 130 to140 to150+ are made using the heat exchanger and small amounts of added hot water. The water/mash ratio is never allowed to go over about 1.125 -1.3 quarts/pound. All the time the mash is stirred automatically and wort is recirculated. Once conversion is achieved, I reset the HLT temp to 175 and do a mash out at 170. Sparge is done with the HLT at 180 degrees. I never turn off the heat exchanger or wort recirc pump during sparge so the wort going to the boiler is already at 180. This allows the use of a smaller natural gas burner (quieter and less likely to scorch) for boiling. Can you kill enzymes with a too hot temp in the exchanger? I think so. I built "the perfesser" in his present configuration so that I avoided that coil in the HLT. I can still do full recirculation without leaving a coil full of wort trapped in a too hot HLT. By turning off the pump to the heat exchanger, heat additions are stopped, but wort continues to flow freely. When additional heat is needed, the heat exchange pump restarts and supplies a new batch of HLT water to one side of the Maxichiller I am using for a heat exchanger. Hey, maybe I am wrong about all this, but it seems to work nicely. Right now "it ain't broke, so I'm not gonna fix it". Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat K P Brewery - home of "the perfesser' Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 08:04:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Jeff Hertz <duckinchicago at yahoo.com> Subject: Brewing article on CNNFN.COM For anyone who didn't see this, there was a pretty good article on cnnfn.com on Monday with lots of quotes from Paul Gatza. Here's the link to it: http://cnnfn.cnn.com/2001/08/27/sbstarting/q_brewing/ Enjoy, Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 10:27:04 -0500 From: "Scott Basil" <sbasil at glasgow-ky.com> Subject: possible answer to coldroom question One of my brew partners runs an hvac company, so I forwarded your question to him. If you live in the southeast, your humidity problems will be the hardest to deal with. Materials soak up humidity, and every time the door is opened you add more. In a house, a vapor barrier for the roof is not needed, but this is not a house. A complete seal is needed for a walk in cooler, and that is what you are going for. You will also need some specialized controls that will allow the unit to continue to "wring" the water from the air. Drain pan heaters and low ambient controls on the coil, also called a freeze stat is needed. And make absolutely sure that the CONDENSER COIL is spotless! If there is no water in the drain pan, this in itself is perplexing. make sure you have the correct refrigerant charge in the linesets and the subcool and superheat are within range and the TXV is working. This is a case where ten different people will give you ten different answers, but you must prevent infiltration of outside air; however, without the special controls the temperature will be the problem then... It may be time to bite the bullet and contact an hvac technician, that likes homebrew, and do the old homebrew barter.... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 12:24:09 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Cutting stainless I know there's been much discussion in the past regarding cutting stainless keg tops for use in brewing. After reading all of the methods and weighing the pros and cons, I was more confused than when I began. First I tried to use a fiber-reinforced metal cutting disk on a die grinder and a metal cutting drill bit - too slow and much burning. Then I decided to try what I was told to be the WORST method - the reciprocating saw. I've seen complaints that the reciprocating saw takes a long time, makes a lot of noise and ruins too many blades. Except for the noise, this was not true in my case. I used a 3/4 HP Craftsman reciprocating saw with a 4 or 5" Bluemol bimetal blade (14 teeth per inch). After drilling a lead hole with my metal drill bit, I had the top of my keg cut off in 5 minutes. The a radius of cut was 2" smaller than the radius of the keg top and I only used a single blade to make the cut - with no oil. While the blade was destroyed in the process, they only cost about USD$1.25 each and come cheaper per blade if you buy a 10 pack. It ran like a hot knife through butter (as far as cutting metal with a hand tool is concerned ;-) For my next keg I think I'll use 2 blades - maybe then I I don't have to push at all! As for the noise, I cut the keg in my basement using hearing protection while my wife and son both took a nap on the second floor. No one heard a thing. The cut requires a bit of grinding and filing to remove burs and sharp edges, but that takes 5 minutes for a mediocre job or 10 minutes for a good, polished edge. Hearing and eye protection are definately a must. Gloves are good assurance too. So if you're mulling over the best way to cut your keg, buy, rent, borrow or steal a reciprocating saw of at least 1/2 HP and use a 14 TPI bimetal blade. It's cheaper and easier than finding a plasma cutter - plus you get to do manly destructive-type stuff ;-) Carpe cerevisiae! Glen A. Pannicke glen at pannicke.net http://www.pannicke.net 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short." - Blaise Pascal Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 10:11:34 -0700 (PDT) From: LJ Vitt <lvitt4 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Oat Hauls Todd asked about oat hauls- >Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 07:24:11 -0700 >From: "Bissell, Todd S" <tbissell at spawar.navy.mil> >Subject: Oat Hulls? (And Kegging Follow-up) Hi all, > But what are "Brewer's cut Oat >Hulls"? I >have 3/4 lb of them, and haven't been able to find any information on >their >use....... >What are Oat Hulls used for? How and when would I need them? Are there >any >freshness issues I need to be concerned with? (the guy I bought this >U-Haul >worth of stuff hadn't brewed since 1997....) Tks...! I have used aot hauls when sparging wheat beers. Everything I read about this suggest using rice hauls. I got the oat haul idea from another homebrewer who learned about using oat hauls from some of the Oregon and Washington micro breweries. I mash in a kettle then move to a gott cooler to sparge. I add the oat hauls at the time of the move. I have used about a pound of oat hauls in a 5 gal batch of weizen that has 66% wheat malt. - Leo Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 14:11:42 -0400 (EDT) From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: beers that make you sick Here's a very odd one. A friend just called me up asking for my "expert opinion" on why he gets sick and horribly hungover when he drinks certain beers, but not certain others. Of course I have any number of answers including possible additives and so on to the beers in question. However, one example he gave me was that Molson's "Rickard's Red" makes him sick every time, and he gets terribly hungover even after only 2 beers, while Molson's "Rickard's Gold" give him no such troubles. I would be quite suprised to find much of a difference between these two beers from the same manufacturer. The "Red" would be brewed with Crystal Malt for colour, and I believe it would be more ale-brewed and the "Gold" more lager-ish. Though of course with today's megabrewers it is questionable whether they really do anything differently for ales and lagers. So what could be making my friend sick? He says it's not a bad batch as he has made these observations over many months. cheers, -Alan - -- "Brewers make wort. Yeast makes beer." - Dave Miller http://www.bodensatz.com/ What's a Bodensatz? http://www.bodensatz.com/bodensatz.html Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 13:29:47 -0500 From: Brian Lundeen <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: zinc and esters Dave Houseman tries to slip one by with: > I recently began using crushed zinc tablets in my boils. Now > I haven't done > any side-by-side testing, but these brews have had the most explosive > fermentations I've experienced. Even a lager where I pitched > lots of yeast > but intentionally did not aerate (to reduce ester production) OK, this is the first I've heard of this technique. I mean, I understand the desire to eliminate the growth phase, but how do you know you pitched enough yeast? Did you pitch onto a yeast cake? Even then, wouldn't some growth be required because some yeast would no longer be viable (yes, I probably used the wrong word)? And how much zinc are you adding? Does it affect the final taste in any way? Most importantly, are we setting ourselves up for a host of competitions where BJCP's finest start scribbling "zincy" on their score sheets because of this trend? ;-) Cheers Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 13:28:31 -0700 From: "Hedglin, Nils A" <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> Subject: 1st time all-grain questions Hi, I finally tried all-grain for the 1st time a few weeks ago using my new mash/lauter tun (http://www.minibrew.com/products/prod03.html), so here goes the questions: Because only had a 5 gal pot, I collected two 3 gal batches of wort instead. I used the recommended 1 qt/1 lb of grain for mashing in & it never seemed to have the 1" of water above the grain bed like I'd always read about. I recirculated for about 20 minutes, but after the initial few minutes, the wort never got any clearer. The wort itself was pretty clear, but there was a bunch of particulate matter that kept coming through. It was so bad that every few minutes, it would clog the valve, so I had to open it up a little to clear it. For the most part, the particulates weren't grains or hulks as I'd recognize them. They were more amorphous white blobs that didn't look like soaked grains. I tried really hard to keep to the 1 qt/5 min sparge rate, but i think I got the 1st 3 gallons in about 20-25 minutes. I then switched pots to sparge into & set the 1st batch on to boil. I must have done something to the valve because when I came back to it, the water level in the grain bed had drop drastically, probably down to below 25% of the total grain bed height. I quickly fed more water in from the hot liquor tank, but I noticed that there was an incredible reduction in the particulates going through the valve. During the 1st half the sparge, I was getting a particulate about every 2-3 seconds. During the 2nd half, it was about 1every 3-4 minutes. Also, because of the initial increased flow of the 2nd sparge, I ended up collecting the 3 gal in about 10 mins. 1) Any idea why even after recirculating for 20 mins there were still so much particulate matter & almost draining the grain bed allowed for much clearer sparging? 2) What's the affect of the 2nd sparge running for only 10 mins instead of the full half hour? After I got the 1st batch into the carboy, I started on the 2nd one. The 2nd wort had been sitting in a pot with the lid on while the 1st batch boiled (about 2 hours), so it had cooled significantly, but still somewhat warm (probably still over 100). Without thinking about it, I pour the wort into my 5 gal brew pot, probably severly aerating it. 3) Is aeration at this point bad, I can never remember? Once I took the gravity of the 1st batch, I realized the grave error I had made. Since I split the batches, I basically now had 1st & 2nd runnings. The 1st batch's OG was 1.082 & the 2nd's was 1.030. The good news was that the recipe's target was 1.055 so I almost nailed it exacly. Everything else went well other than not finishing up until midnight. Another concern I had was the evaporation rate during my boil. I started out with 3 gal of wort, & based on the amount of wort in the carboys & some guesstimation, I think I ended up with less than 2 gal in each batch. They were supposed to end up at 2.5 gal each to make a 5 gal batch, but over an extra gal boiled away. I also had a similar problem with my last batch which was supposed to be a stout, but ended up as a brown porter because I boiled way so much wort that it got diluted when I made up the 5 gal with water. I've heard that a vigorous boil is good. The flames on my burner go higher, but I'd also heard it wasn't good for the to touch the pot. Also, if the burner's going at full bore, some of the support prongs that the pot sits on start to turn red. 4) Would raising the pot with bricks to allow a higher flame make any difference? Should I think about building some sort of insulating box to better funnel the heat back up towards the pot? 5) How can I still get a good boil, but not have so much wort evaporate? Because this was kind of a "use up what I had" batch, I used a bunch of Cooper's dry yeast packets that I had. I put 28 grams of the yeast in the high-gravity wort & 22 grams in the low-gravity wort. When put then 2nd batch in the frig, I was very pleased the 1st batch already had a vigorous fermentation going. But, by the next morning (about 15 hours from pitching), the fermentation had stopped. The only time I had such a quick fermentation was when I put a 3 gal cider batch on the trub from the previously mentioned 5 gal porter batch. 6) Can something ferment too fast? What's the affect? I racked the batches to secondary last night & again was amazed at how close I had gotten to the recipe's SG & ABV if I averaged them. The high-gravity batch was at 1.030, 6.53% & the lower was at 1.002, 2.94%. The target was 1.015 & 4.4%. I am a bit worried about the batch that finished at 1.002. 7) Is this normal for a batch that was probably overly fermentive? Also, the lower gravity batch also had a very strong spicy smell. I couldn't pinpoint it, but I don't think it was cloves. I had used 1/2 oz of Perle for bittering & 1/4 of Fuggles for aroma. 8) It doesn't look like Fuggles is supposed to have a strong spice smell, could this be a by-product of something else wrong? Thanks a lot for wading through all this. Nils Hedglin Sacramento, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 10:30:25 -0700 From: Troy Hager <thager at hcsd.k12.ca.us> Subject: RIMS thermocouple location With the RIMS thread popping up lately I have a question for you rimsers out there. Where is your thermocouple (or any temperature sensor) located in the loop? I have seen/read that most systems have it located right after the heating element. On first thought, I wondered why not put it right at the outlet of the mash tun since that is where we are trying to control the temp, but with more thought I realize that we are actually trying to control the temp of the entire liquid portion of our mash because that is were all the enzymes are located and where all the work gets done. Therefore, I suppose a sensor at the heater outlet would make more sense because you would want to bring the mash liquid up to the desired temp and measure it as it came out of the heater - otherwise risk over-heating with the element to raise the temp at some other location in the loop. BTW, has anyone measured the difference of the temperature before and after the heater... and is there a big difference? I know that every system would be different in this regard, every system would loose heat at a different rate, but I was just wondering if, because of the high rate of recirculation, the temperature is pretty constant throughout the loop in most cases. Cheers, Troy Return to table of contents
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